A class of highly Scalable Optical Crossbar-Connected Interconnection Networks (SOCNs) for parallel computing systems

Brian Webb, Ahmed Louri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


A class of highly scalable interconnect topologies called the Scalable Optical Crossbar-Connected Interconnection Networks (SOCNs) is proposed. This proposed class of networks combines the use of tunable Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSEL's), Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) and a scalable, hierarchical network architecture to implement large-scale optical crossbar based networks. A free-space and optical waveguide-based crossbar interconnect utilizing tunable VCSEL arrays is proposed for interconnecting processor elements within a local cluster. A similar WDM optical crossbar using optical fibers is proposed for implementing intercluster crossbar links. The combination of the two technologies produces large-scale optical fan-out switches that could be used to implement relatively low cost, large scale, high bandwidth, low latency, fully connected crossbar clusters supporting up to hundreds of processors. An extension of the crossbar network architecture is also proposed that implements a hybrid network architecture that is much more scalable. This could be used to connect thousands of processors in a multiprocessor configuration while maintaining a low latency and high bandwidth. Such an architecture could be very suitable for constructing relatively inexpensive, highly scalable, high bandwidth, and fault-tolerant interconnects for large-scale, massively parallel computer systems. This paper presents a thorough analysis of two example topologies, including a comparison of the two topologies to other popular networks. In addition, an overview of a proposed optical implementation and power budget is presented, along with analysis of proposed media access control protocols and corresponding optical implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-458
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Crossbars
  • Hypercubes
  • Multiprocessor interconnection
  • Networks
  • Optical interconnections
  • Parallel architectures
  • Scalability
  • Wavelength division multiplexing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'A class of highly Scalable Optical Crossbar-Connected Interconnection Networks (SOCNs) for parallel computing systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this